History of Culver Studios

1918

Thomas Ince, the silent movie pioneer, builds the studio.

1925

The studio is acquired by Cecil B DeMille following Thomas Ince’s untimely death.

1927

DeMille builds huge Jerusalem sets on the backlot for The King of Kings

1928

RKO acquires the studio.

1933

Sets from The King of Kings are reused to be part of Skull Island for King Kong.

1935

Studio is known as Selznick International.

1939

Gone with the Wind is shot on Stages 11 and 12, along with the studio backlot which was used for Tara, Twelve Oaks and the city of Atlanta. The burning of Atlanta was achieved by setting fire to the old backlot sets, including the massive wall built for King Kong.

1956

Desilu purchased the studio.

1968

New owners sold off most of the 40 Acres backlot.

1977

Studio renamed Laird International Studio.

1986

Laird files Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Grant Tinker and Gannett Company (as GTG Entertainment) purchase the studio, which is by now very dilapidated. They completed a $26 million renovation which created new state-of-the-art television stages and updated all the existing facilities. More impressively, the construction restored much of the studio’s original luster and beauty. The process included extensive renovations of the mansion, bungalows and Selznick wing. It also meant tearing down Ince’s old glass and muslin stage 1, and excavating an old plunge behind the mansion to make way for an underground parking structure. The restoration was so successful it has served as a model for other studio projects.

1991

Sony buys the studio as a site for TV production.

2004

Sony sells the studio to Pacific Coast Capital Partners (PCCP), Studio City, Los Angeles.

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